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Home > Slideshows > 2012 Food Awards

Best Salad Dressing Brands

2012 Food Awards

A salad dressing can either make or break the simplest or most complex salads. Whether on the side or as an entree, salads are an ideal way to bulk out a meal and give yourself a heaping serving of fruits and veggies. However, great dressings are usually full of unwanted calories, fat, and sodium, which can make a perfect salad a calorie bomb in no time. While making your own vinaigrette is best, when shopping for a store-bought dressing, we've got the skinny on the perfect one.

Nutrition Criteria

< 150 calories, < 300mg sodium, < 2g saturated fat but more than 50% of total fat calories in monounsaturated fat, < 3 grams of sugar, 0 artificial flavors or colors.

Contenders

  1. Maple Grove Farms of Vermont: The Sesame Ginger is a natural dressing with 45 calories per serving, but it goes a bit over on sugar with 5 grams. In fact, its first ingredient is sugar. It has a very potent flavor some may not like, but it would be good to enhance an otherwise bland meal.

  2. Ken's Light Options: The Olive Oil & Vinegar had a pleasant taste, offered 2g of the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and kept its ingredients list as simple as it could be. It did well with our nutrition criteria with only 50 calories. However, it wasn't enough to win over the top spot when it came to flavor.

  3. Annie's Naturals: The Roasted Red Pepper dressing is comparable to French dressing, but is far better with all-natural ingredients and no artificial colors/preservatives. This one also scored well nutritionally, but flavor-wise didn't pull down the top spot.

  4. Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers: The basic ranch dressing is good in theory, with only 15 calories and 1 gram of fat, but seemed to have fallen short in the taste test. We thought it was runny and had an odd flavor.

Click next to see the winner.

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